Severe weather rips through Alabama university, takes aim at Southeast

Severe weather that spawned at least one tornado slammed Alabama’s Jacksonville State University on Monday night and took aim at the rest of the southeast.

Alabama state troopers said the damage in Jacksonville, Ala. left the city looking like a “war zone.” Strong winds downed trees and damaged buildings as the National Weather Service confirmed a “damaging and possibly large tornado near Jacksonville and Calhoun counties and was moving east.

nws birmingham map

As a tornado warning took effect in Alabama Monday night, reports suggested that Jacksonville State University (JSU) sustained serious damage.

 (National Weather Service Birmingham)

Jacksonville State University Athletic Director Greg Seitz wrote in a tweet that there was significant damage to campus, including to the newly renovated Pete Mathews Coliseum.

“I can confirm we have major roof damage at Pete Mathews Coliseum, but The Pete is not completely destroyed,” Seitz said in a tweet.

This photo provided by Johnny Tribble shows a damaged house after a tornado, Tribble said, passed the area in Ardmore, Ala., Monday, March 19, 2018. Severe storms that spawned tornadoes damaged homes and downed trees as they moved across the Southeast on Monday night. (Johnny Tribble via AP)

Severe storms that spawned tornadoes damaged homes and downed trees as they moved across the Southeast on Monday night.

 (Johnny Tribble via AP)

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Andy Norris said in a tweet that troopers called Jacksonville a “war zone.” He said the arena’s roof “took major damage.”

Photos seen on social media showed the extent of the damage Jacksonville took.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed in a statement late Monday there was “significant damage” throughout the state, according to WBRC-TV.

Cities in northern Alabama reported power outages and the NWS in Huntsville reported at least three tornadoes in the area.

The severe weather moved into Georgia late Monday night.

Flights at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta were reportedly grounded as the damaging winds moved into the area. The airport warned on Twitter that delays were likely.

Meanwhile, more than 150 people reportedly took cover into a historic cave in Cave Springs, Ga.

The storms knocked out power to at least 15,000 homes and businesses in Alabama. It wasn’t immediately clear how many were without power in Georgia and Tennessee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

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